Medicare, after a short trial period, has decided it will begin covering Acupuncture for low back pain. This is both exciting and confusing at the same time. In the new language:
“Only a physician as defined by Medicare in 1861(r)(1) (i.e. an MD or DO), and those with “a masters or doctoral level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)” may furnish acupuncture.”
This sounds great, but then:
However, it will only cover acupuncture by a licensed Acupuncturist if they are under “the appropriate level” of supervision with MD/DO providers, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants. It isn’t as clear what this means or how treatment is billed and reimbursed. Please see the below letter:
Regardless, this is an important milestone in our profession! We will work to figure out what this actually means in the real world of healthcare and reimbursement. Onwards!